Supernatural Fiction posted March 23, 2021 Chapters:  ...55 56 -57- 58... 


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The Curse/A Novel of the Breedline series

A chapter in the book THE CURSE

Blood Money/Part Two

by scongrove




Background
Thanks for taking the time to read my chapter. It's new, so if you catch typos or mistakes, please let me know. Stay safe & enjoy!
Detective Manuel Sanchez left his apartment in a good mood. As he got behind the wheel of his unmarked car, he couldn’t seem to take his mind off Kathryn, especially after what they’d just shared. He was on cloud nine, feeling like a teenager all over again. Today was officially their first kiss.

Before he switched on the ignition, he closed his eyes and pictured her face. Without a doubt, Kathryn Hobbs was flat-out gorgeous. She had long, silky blonde hair, piercing blue eyes, skin that smelled like blooming roses, lips deliciously soft, not to mention a figure to die for. It all seemed too good to be true. He almost felt like pinching himself to make sure he wasn’t dreaming.

The males at the hospital she worked at, and some females for that matter, were all goo-goo eyes for her, and Manuel had to give her props: She never mixed business with pleasure. She took her job serious and kept everything professional. He’d witnessed her expertise firsthand. Kathryn was a damn good nurse. Besides, by now, everyone at the hospital realized she was hands off. Occasionally, during lunch, he’d pop-in for a visit. And by the way he looked at her, it was clear to all the guys and gals, she was taken. Plus, he had a pretty good idea his badge and gun had something to do with it. To some, a shield and a weapon looked intimidating.

A half-hour later, he pulled into the precinct and parked his car near the front entrance. As soon as he set foot in the building, he noticed his partner standing outside their captain’s office, waving him over. Frank was dressed in his normal attire: tan slacks, dress shirt, and a matching tie. And along with his neatly pressed and tidy outfit, he wore a classic crew cut. Frank was the type who everyone got along with. It took a lot to get under his skin, but when he got mad, you’d be the first to know. On occasion, he’d bend the rules a bit, especially if it came to helping others. He would give the shirt off his back for just about anyone. But in most cases, he done things by the book. And no matter what, he was willing to do whatever it took to bring justice to those who deserved it. 

Manuel, on the other hand, sported more of a rugged look. Nothing fancy, just blue jeans, a button-down shirt, and a pair of worn out cowboy boots. On chilly mornings and late-night, outdoor crime investigations, he always wore the same old leather jacket he’d had for years. It leant well with his temperament: slow-to-warm-up to, difficult, hot-headed and a smart mouth to go along with it. Although he resembled the handsome Spanish actor, Antonio Banderas, his hairdo favored James Dean’s. He kept it cut short in the back with longer lengths on top, styled in a sweep back. When it came to getting things done, he made no bones about it. Manuel was old-school. And he’d fight dirty if that’s what it took. Although he was in his fifties, he could still give a young man a run for his money. During his years boxing, he developed an iron-jaw and one helluva mean left hook. Aside from his tough exterior, Manuel always fought for the people he cared about, the innocence, and justice.

As Manuel strode up to where to his partner was waiting, he held up a halting hand and said, “I know, I know. I’m late. You don’t have to ride my ass.”

“What the hell took you so long?” Frank said with a hint of frustration in his voice. “You were supposed to be here an hour ago. The captain’s ‘bout ready to tear you a new one… if you catch my meaning.”

“Cut me some slack. I have a good excuse.”

“Yeah?” Frank cocked a brow, his eyes roaming over Manuel’s face. “Does it have anything to do with that lipstick stain?”

“Huh?” Manuel looked at Frank puzzled. “What are you talking about?”

“I’m talking about the red lipstick you’re wearing,” Frank said around a light chuckle. “I have to say, that color really suits you. It goes great with your outfit.”

“Shit,” Manuel grumbled and quickly wiped at his mouth with the back of his hand. “Thanks smart-ass.”

Frank’s lips curved up. “Sounds like someone finally got the nerve to make a move. I didn’t think you had it in you, Detective.”

“Ah, shut your pie-hole, already,” Manuel shot back. “And stop busting my balls.”

“Come on, partner,” Frank said, motioning towards Captain Hodge’s door. “Ladies first.”

Manuel rolled his eyes and reached for the door. The second he opened it, a booming voice from the inside said, “It’s about damn time.”

“Sorry, Cap,” Manuel said, slumping his shoulders. “Got caught in traffic.”

“Traffic my ass,” Hodge gritted out. “Cut the shit, Detective. You know I don’t have the patience for lame excuses or tardiness. We’ve got a ton of work to do on this case. Are you ready or not?”

Frank stood beside Manuel wide-eyed as though he was anticipating an ass chewing next.

“I’m all eyes and ears, Cap,” Manuel quickly replied. 

“Listen, we’ve all been up half the damn night,” Hodge went on to say. “I know you’re exhausted. Hell, I’ve already went through a whole pot of coffee. And neither of us are exactly spring chickens, now are we? But crime never stops, and we’ve got to stay on top of this. If we sit around on our asses, something’s liable to get overlooked. We can’t let that happen. We owe justice to those innocent people who were taken against their will, especially Judge Weaver’s granddaughter. That poor young girl will probably never be the same. What was done to her and the others goes beyond unethical.” He looked between the two detectives with a stern but wholeheartedly expression. “So, are we ready to find the bastards who are responsible and put them where they belong?”

Manuel and Frank answered in unison. “Yes, Captain.”

“All right then, Detectives. Let’s get cracking. Right before you two decided to stroll in, I received a call from the Coroner.”

Abruptly, there was a knock at the door. When they turned to look, the door cracked open.

“Captain…” Detective Palmer said as he stuck his face inside the opening. “We’ve got a report on a kidnapping in broad daylight right outside Parkside Café, located at Stinson Beach.”

Captain Hodge rose from his chair and cursed under his breath. “All right,” he said, motioning the detective inside. “Give us the rundown.” 

As Detective Palmer pushed through the door, he said, “Young woman in her twenties, blonde, about five-nine. Witnesses said she had an altercation with two other women. Apparently after she knocked them unconscious, two men intervened and took the girl against her will.”

“Do we have an ID on the girl?” Hodge asked.

Detective Palmer shook his head. “As far as we know, she was alone. Witnesses said she and the two men dined at the Parkside Café right before the incident. There’s a good chance we might be able to get a visual from the café’s video footage.”  
 
Hodge averted his eyes from Detective Palmer and focused on Manuel and Frank. “I want you two on this. But as soon as you’re done, haul your asses back. The Coroner got a positive ID on the victim from the car fire. Turns out it was that physician from the Summit Behavioral Institute.”

“Dr. Leonard Manos?” Manuel queried.

When Hodge nodded, Frank said, “Damn. There goes our lead suspect.”

“Tell me about it,” Hodge said. “Although, there’s a positive side to all this madness. Judge Weaver came through on that search warrant for A&E Pharmaceuticals.”

“Sorry, Cap,” Manuel said. “But if you’ve got a search warrant, shouldn’t that be our top priority? I mean, there’s plenty of qualified guys here in the precinct you can send to investigate that kidnapping.”

“I said Judge Weaver approved it,” Hodge replied. “I didn’t say I had it in my hands just yet. Besides, we’re not dealing with your average criminals here. A&E is a multi-billion-dollar industry. You can bet your asses they’ll be prepared for a search warrant. This is going to take some time and planning. And we’re not going in unprepared. So be ready, Detectives. The feds are helping us with this one. They should arrive this afternoon.”

“Great,” Manuel groaned. “That’s just what we need. Someone to tell us how to do our jobs.”

“Sorry, guys,” Hodge hesitantly said. “But you know how it goes. This investigation went up the ladder and now my hands are tied. We have no choice but to work together on this one.”

Before Manuel got the chance to reply, Frank cut in and said, “Don’t worry, Captain. We’ve got this.”

Hodge nodded at Frank, and then looked toward Manuel. “All right, Detectives. That’s all for now. We’ll catch up as soon as you return.”

Without a word, Manuel walked out of the captain’s office and started down the hall in a fast pace. Frank quickly caught up to him and walked alongside him. “Come on, partner. It’s not the captain’s fault. You know if it was up to him, he’d let us handle this case on our own.”

Manuel heaved out a deep breath. “I know. But still… I hate dealing with the Bureau. You know they’re not going to let us do things our way. Solving this case with all their red tape bullshit will take forever.”

“I hear you, buddy,” Frank said, releasing a sigh. “When you think about it, what really matters is we give justice to those innocent people. How we get it done is the least of our problems.”

Manuel stopped as they reached the exit. He turned toward Frank and said, “You’re right. And come hell or high water, we’re not only going to solve that case, we’re going to find that missing girl.”

Frank clapped a hand over Manuel’s shoulder. “Now that’s the partner I know.”

A half-hour later, the detectives pulled into the parking lot of the Parkside Café and parked next to a police cruiser. As soon as they got out, two of Berkley’s finest greeted them. After gathering all the details, the detectives decided to question the manager at the café and check out the video footage. If they were lucky, they just might get a visual on the young woman who had been taken and better yet, the perpetrators involved.  

It wasn’t long before the manager pulled up the video recording from earlier. The second the image of the young woman came into view, he said, “That’s her.” He paused the video and pointed toward the two men sitting across from her. “And those are the two men who took her.”

Manuel and Frank instantly recognized the woman. Their jaws nearly hit the floor. Instantaneously, they faced one another wide-eyed.

Shit, Manuel silently mouthed.

“I was coming in for the day when I spotted one of them carrying her away,” the manager went on to say. “The young woman looked unconscious, so I decided to call the police.”

Manuel averted his eyes from Frank and focused on the manager. “What about the two women that were said to be involved?” he asked. “Did you get a look at them?” 

“Yeah,” the manager said. “I saw them leave with the other guy. Both women looked identical, like they were twins or something. They were tall and muscular. And they had long, red hair. It wasn’t a natural color. More like a dyed job.”

Frank chimed in and said, “Did you see what kind of vehicle they left in?”

“The bald guy who took the girl got in a white box truck,” the manager replied. “The other three drove off in a black panel van.”

“You didn’t happen to catch the license on either of those, did you?” Manuel asked.

“Sorry Detectives.” The manager shook his head. “I wish I had more information, but that’s all I have.”

“You’ve been very helpful,” Frank said. “Do you think you could identify those two women if you saw them again?”

“Are you kidding? Those two stuck out like a sore thumb. They looked like a couple of female wrestlers.”

“We’re going to need you to come down to the station to make a statement and look at some mugshots,” Frank said. “It’s possible you might be able to identify those two women if you come across their photos.”

“Of course,” the manager said. “I’ll do whatever I can to help.”

“And we’re going to need that video recording as evidence,” Manuel added.

“Yeah, sure,” the manager quickly replied. “Like I said… whatever I can do to help.”

The minute the detectives got what they needed and made it back to the vehicle, Manuel took Frank aside. “Something tells me this has something to do with A&E Pharmaceuticals. Why else would someone drug Jena and take her against her will?”

Frank dragged a hand over his short-trimmed hair. “If you’re right on this, we’ve got to inform the Breedline Covenant. And God… when Nicolas finds out.”

“Yeah.” Manuel blew out a deep breath. “Things are about to get personal. And bloody.”

To be continued. . . 
 
 




A reference for terms and cast of characters in this chapter, especially for new readers:

BREEDLINE - A species of humans that have the ability to change from human form into wolf form if they are born an identical twin. They are not like the old legend of the Lycanthropy myth. The Breedline species can shift into their wolf at will. The moon has no power over them. They do not pass their ability to other humans. Although they live among humans, their species is secret. In wolf form, they have super-strength, speed, and heightened senses. Compared to humans, Breedlines have tremendous advantages when it comes to health. Their bodies heal fast and are not subject to illness or diseases. The only thing that slows their healing process is silver. It is their kryptonite. Besides old age, a silver bullet to the brain is the only way to kill a Breedline.
All male Breedlines change into their first wolf at the age of eighteen. Female Breedlines do not go through the change until they make love to their Breedline bonded mate.

BREEDLINE COVENANT - The Breedline species must live within the boundaries of their Covenant. There is one in every state. A council governs its laws and oversees the species population.

Jena McCain - She is an inspiring artist with the ability to speak with the dead. Jena was attacked and bitten by an age-old creature and cursed with a lust for human blood. Now that she is to become the creature and hunt humans, instead of killing innocent people, she will only hunt evil.

Detective Manuel Sanchez - He is a homicide detective at the San Francisco Police Department who late discovers he carries the Breedline genetics. His partner is Detective Frank Perkins. His sister is Lailah.

Detective Frank Perkins - He is Manuel Sanchez's partner and discovers the secret world of the Breedline. Born as a human, Frank pledges his loyalty to the Breedline. Fighting alongside his partner, they take an oath to help the Breedline protect the world from corruption and unknown creatures that prey on the innocent.

Captain James Hodge - Unaware of the Breedline species, he is Detective Manuel Sanchez and Detective Frank Perkins' superior at the San Francisco, California Police Department.

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